Now is the time to ring in the new year for everyone, including scrap metal recyclers.
The year 2023 provides new opportunities to improve your workplace and boost your bottom line. Below are some New Year’s resolutions scrap metal recyclers can consider to make this happen as we turn the calendar page.
Increase Employee Retention
The recycling industry has faced its share of challenges in hiring and retaining workers over the years. Today, the situation is further complicated by an economy in which workers are quitting and changing jobs at record rates as they seek better pay, benefits, conditions, and flexibility. What’s the key to reducing employee attrition? The experts say it all boils down to one thing: creating an attractive place to work.
The following measures can help you attract and retain quality workers.
- Provide opportunities for growth.
Studies reveal that one of the best ways to show employees that you value them is by offering plentiful opportunities for learning and advancement. Whether it’s specialized software training, an online course, or a mentorship session, professional development gives employees the chance to learn and flourish.
- Bolster what you have to offer.
Another tangible way to show employees that they are valued is by offering competitive wages and benefit packages—and making sure they are adequately communicated. Take it a step further by going beyond the paycheck, because the future of work is going to involve a greater degree of worker flexibility. While recycling will continue to rely on people being on site to get the job done, savvy strategies will be needed to attract and keep them.
- Deliver a better work experience.
Efforts to improve workplace culture are always smart investments. Think beyond the recycling aspect of your business and expand the scope so that people are your primary focus. Regardless of their role or industry, employees are seeking purpose, and that means giving them more than just a job and an hourly wage. The best organizations blend a sense of purpose with opportunities for workers to contribute to something greater. Take steps to foster connectedness by educating each person on the importance of what they are doing and the positive influence the recycling industry has on shaping the world.
- Utilize employee-friendly tools and processes.
Explosive turnover creates unique challenges, including an abundance of new workers who are on perpetual learning curves. The last thing they need is a daunting list of complex tasks and cumbersome processes. Every job is more difficult when the tools are complicated and the processes unwieldy, adding to the likelihood that workers will abandon ship. Tech can be particularly off-putting. In the recycling sector, firms turn to ScrapWare for simple, straightforward recycling software that gets the job done. ScrapWare becomes part of the solution because it’s easy to learn and use, especially for novices. Designed with the end-user in mind, its intuitive interface streamlines even the most complex processes, seamlessly integrating them into daily workflows. ScrapWare readily integrates with existing software and eliminates time-wasting redundant tasks, too.
- Offer ample support.
Left to their own devices and without adequate direction, workers can quickly become overwhelmed and disengaged. This is particularly true for new employees who trying to learn and adjust to new environments, cultures, technologies, and procedures. Seek out technologies that are user-friendly and offer exceptional service. ScrapWare offers renowned customer care and support that are unparalleled in the industry. When issues arise, the help desk is always available to provide friendly, knowledgeable assistance. At ScrapWare, no appointments are necessary for customer service. Support is available 24/7 with multiple support channels via email, text, or phone.
Transitioning from paper to digital documents is an important step in the digital transformation most companies say they want to eventually achieve. Putting in place new systems to achieve this goal requires planning and investment. As a mechanism to save time and money, the individual benefits of going paperless are numerous.
- Streamline and Accelerate Important Business Processes.
Digital documents can be moved from person to person more quicky than paper documents. They can be viewed by many people at the same time, and mistakes are more easily corrected.
- Simplify Interactions with Vendors and Customers.
With online documents, customers and vendors can access them when it is convenient from any location. They can sign paperwork digitally and print copies when needed.
- Make Finding Documents Faster and Easier.
If documents are stored digitally, it is easier to find them online instead of digging through file drawers. Answers to inquiries are available at everyone’s fingertips.
- Save Time.
Electronic documents are faster (and cheaper) than paper documents to edit and redistribute to customers, vendors and employees. This cuts down on bottle necks and reduces approval cycle time.
- Protect Documents.
If documents are electronic, they are protected from getting lost or damaged from fire, flood or theft.
- Improve Security.
Confidential data or sensitive information is much more secure stored as an electronic document on an off-site cloud server.
In addition, scrap metal recyclers can also benefit from improved compliance with state and local laws. Having stored digital images of licenses, signatures and fingerprints can help companies work with authorities and comply with anti-theft regulations.
These benefits have accelerated the movement to paperless processes. Nonetheless, going completely paperless can seem overwhelming, impractical or unnecessary. The good news is that no company has to go paperless overnight–or ever go completely paper-free–to reap the benefits of transforming some paper-based practices to paperless ones. Progress can be made incrementally.
Below is a list of some steps scrap metal recyclers can take to reduce their reliance on paper transactions:
- Store documents and files digitally, in the cloud.
Important files and documents can be saved and accessed anytime using online storage. Automatic data backups will make sure information stored online is not lost. Storing documents in the cloud allows files to be shared among employees, customers and vendors from wherever they are at any time, with all users having access to the information remotely.
- Use electronic communication.
Almost everyone now uses e-mail in many instances to replace regular mail, but other types of electronic communication may also help reduce paper and improve efficiency. For example, Instant Messaging platforms like Skype or Slack can be used among employees to improve efficiency and convenience for internal communication. A company can request electronic billing from vendors, use electronic invoicing for customers, and electronic calendars can replace paper calendars.
- Copy documents with scanners and apps.
As a company seeks to decrease the volume of paper in its office, existing important documents can be scanned and uploaded for digital storage.
- Move financial transactions to the digital realm.
Digital receipts, direct deposit and other electronic financial transactions are cheaper and safer than paper and checks, and they are easier to track for bookkeeping purposes. Issuing electronic invoices with online payment options usually results in getting paid more quickly.
- Use e-signatures.
Signing contracts and agreements no longer requires printing out long documents to obtain a few signatures. E-signatures are legally binding, but are significantly more efficient, convenient, faster to use, safer and more secure than obtaining a traditional signature. For scrap metal recycling businesses, ScrapWare Corporation offers a software package that facilitates the use of e-signatures for all contracts and documents. ScrapWare has teamed up with DocuSign, the industry leader in electronic signatures, to allow ScrapWare users to employ e-signatures in their cloud-based software product, which is specifically designed for scrap metal recyclers.
Get industry specific software
The beginning of a new year presents a great opportunity to get ahead of the game with industry specific software. For those without a solid software program, huge benefits can be reaped by installing state of the art software. For companies that already have software, it might be beneficial to evaluate if your software can do any more for you. There are numerous benefits of recycling software, but most fit into three primary categories: profitability, regulatory and anti-theft compliance, and inventory management.
Managing pricing and contracts and optimizing fleets of trucks and their routes are just a few of the areas in which software can help make decisions that impact the bottom line. Software can manage materials, cash, shipping, sales and inventory. Software can enhance recycling business owners’ ability to make choices and set up systems to enhance profits and facilitate business growth with the use of better data. Here are some of the areas where software can help increase profits by increasing efficiency:
Managing Purchases, Quotes and Contracts
Nothing impacts the bottom line like the purchasing process. With software keeping track of purchases, recyclers can have quick access to an assortment of pricing methods. With the software’s insight, recyclers can improve productivity and adapt purchase and sales decisions according to the ever-changing market conditions to boost profitability.
ScrapWare can rapidly create quotes and then track those that have been issued back to vendors as well as quotes received from consumers. This helps increase profitability because businesses can quickly determine which consumers offer the best prices for a given commodity, view the open and closed quotes and contracts with vendors or consumers, and then decide what material to ship first.
Route Optimization and Fleet Management
With GPS and route optimization software, incredible efficiencies are available to recycling businesses by making sound decisions about fleet use. Fleet dispatching software optimizes precision scheduling for container movements and vendor servicing. Using this software, recyclers can get an overview of total composite costs.
Regulatory and Anti-theft Compliance
As the popularity of recycling programs has increased, so has the regulatory burden on recycling businesses. Much of the regulation, especially in the scrap metal recycling business, has to do with cracking down on the theft. Here are some of the features good recycling software packages should have to help recycling businesses comply with a state and local laws.
- License scanning – License scanners allow recycling businesses to scan vendors’ drivers’ licenses and immediately and permanently associate those with a purchase ticket. These can be kept on file and accessed if there are law enforcement inquiries.
- Signature and thumbprint capture pads – These can be used to link a thumbprint or a signature to a purchase ticket. The data can be reproduced for any ticket requested by police.
- Network digital camera interface – Cameras can be linked with a scale interface to take photographs of incoming material. These photos can be printed, saved, emailed or uploaded to compliance websites, like Leads Online.
- Tag and Hold – As theft of valuable material has become more common, some state and localities have passed “tag and hold laws.” Many software recycling systems include a mechanism to print tickets that comply with these laws and avoid a shut down.
- Payment method – The use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and other cash dispensers allow recyclers to choose payment methods that are most appropriate for complying with state and local laws. A good recycling software package will integrate with ATMs and cash dispensers. This reduces the likelihood of cash theft.
- Anti-theft reporting – Most recycling software generates a variety of reports to help comply with state and local anti-theft laws. These reports can be uploaded to law enforcement or kept on file to retrieve whenever they are requested by police.
- Date files – Leads Online, BWI, Texas DPS. These are just some of the places recyclers upload data files to comply with local laws targeted at anti-theft measures. A good recycling software system will allow recyclers to upload files to these organizations and others from different states and of different formats.
Recycling is an inventory-based business. Recyclers need to have a firm grasp of what they have in stock, at what yards and at what costs. Software can put this information at a recycling business’s fingertips, giving them visibility over all inventory in real time.
Scrapware’s inventory management system allows you to set up, maintain and manage your inventory in three ways. The first way is to “Regrade” it, which allows you to regrade a purchased raw material to a finished good and/or one or more commodities. Secondly, they can “transfer” inventory, which lets them move material between yards or from one division to another within the same yard, without cost information. Finally, the inventory can be moved to “finished goods.” This classification enables them to place processed, packaged finished goods, such as bales and boxes, into inventory.
The operational benefits of recycling software play a key role in helping recycling companies gain a competitive advantage in the coming year and beyond.
About ScrapWare Corporation: Since 1989, Rockville, Maryland-based ScrapWare Corporation has been the software of choice for the recycling industry. Its ease of installation and simplicity saves users time and money, while helping them achieve compliance and maintain accurate business insights. With state-of-the-art functionality that‘s tailored to each organization’s unique requirements, ScrapWare is an advanced dynamic software solution that alleviates the most pressing recycling industry worries. For more information, please call (301) 517-8500 or visit https://www.scrapware.com/.